Toto Sues Sony Over Unpaid Royalties

Band wants half of net receipts on downloads

David Paich and Steve Lukather of Toto perform at Hammersmith Apollo in London.
C Brandon/Redferns
February 28, 2012 8:45 AM ET

Toto is the latest band to sue their label over unpaid digital royalties. Lawyers representing the group have filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for Southern New York alleging that Sony has failed to account for and pay 50 percent of net receipts from licensing the band's music to third parties selling downloads of their work.

Just as in similar lawsuits by Kenny Rogers, Peter Frampton and Chuck D of Public Enemy, Toto's attorneys are hinging their argument on a precedent set by an Eminem royalty dispute last year establishing that digital sales represent a license, and as such, artists are entitled to 50 percent of receipts, as opposed to a royalty rate in the range of 12 to 20 percent, as with CDs at wholesale prices.

Photos: Random Notes
Toto's lawsuit also charges that Sony breached their contract in neglecting to pay out these royalties. The band is seeking compensatory damages in excess of $605,000 plus interest, as well as full accounting and legal fees.

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